I’m here for the party- it’s what’s inside!

Stephanie, that delightful Happy Sorceress, over at Dispensing Happiness is having another blog party and I’m putting my dancing shoes on.  🙂 Whoohoo!

This month’s theme is “It’s what’s inside”. We were asked to make an appetizer and a cocktail with something inside something else edible -( food, inside of food)- like for instance -a wonton or an empanada.

I decided to make “Croque Monsieur Gougeres” and a “Roly-Poly Orange Juice Punch.”


Gougeres are lovely little eggy, cheesy bits of choux pastry- in essence a savory version of a cream puff. They can be addictive to eat and are great with a glass of wine or as a cocktail nibble.

I made the Gougeres with aged Gouda, Black Pepper and Thyme and then stuffed them with the traditional Croque Monsieur filling of Ham, cheese and a Bechamel sauce-(actually I made the Bechamel into a Mornay sauce.)

Bechamel Sauce, 3 cups

  • Heat 2 cups of milk in a small saucepan with a bay leaf until hot but not boiling.
  • In another heavy bottomed sauce pan melt 3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter 
  • Mix 4 Tablespoons of AP Flour with 3/4 teaspoon of seasoned salt and a pinch of pepper
  • Add the flour mixture to the melted butter and stir over low heat until a smooth paste (roux) forms and flour cooks a bit but does not brown
  • Remove the bay leaf from the hot milk and add the milk to the roux, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
  • Cook until thickened and then add 1 egg yolk that has been mixed into 2 Tablespoons of half and half cream. Whisk and cook until thick.
  • Remove from heat and add 1 Tablespoon sweet Madeira or Sherry (optional)

To make a Bechamel into a Mornay sauce

  • To 2 cups heated Bechamel sauce add 3 Tablespoons of sharp finely grated cheese (cheddar) and a dash of Worcestershire sauce, herb salt to taste and a dash of cayenne pepper.

For Gougeres: Preheat oven to 350F

  • Melt 8 Tablespoons (one stick) of unsalted butter in a large saucepan
  • Add 1-1/4 cups of nonfat milk, you can also use 1% milk or water if preferred
  • 2 large pinches of salt
  • Bring to a full boil and add 1Cup of AP Flour, beat hard with a wooden spoon over the heat until a smooth ball forms and pulls away from the sides of the pan and the ball starts to look a bit dry (a couple of minutes)
  • Off heat- Add 4 large eggs ONE AT A TIME, incorporating each fully before adding the next.
  • Add 3/4 Cup shredded cheese of choice (I used Aged Gouda)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves only minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Use a pastry bag or two spoons to drop 2″ mounds about 2″ apart on a parchment lined baking tray. Smooth the tops slightly, brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle a little grated cheese over the tops.
    (you can make them bite sized or larger and just adjust the baking time if you wish)
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden, puffed and light to the touch
  • Remove from oven and poke a little hole in each gougere to let any steam escape
  • Serve warm or room temperature, can be reheated for 5 minutes to re-crisp.

To assemble as Croque Monsieur Gougeres, carefully remove the top and add a spoonful of sauce, a slice of ham and a bit of grated cheese. Serve warm.

Roly Poly Orange Juice Punch

  • Take a ripe navel orange and roll it around the counter to release the juices on the inside. Cut a thin slice off whichever side you wish to be the bottom so the orange an sit flat now.
  • cut a small plug on the “top” and seat a funnel in the opening. Add Pomegranate juice and vodka or gin if you wish. Stick a straw in the plug opening and enjoy.

Thanks for the invitation to the Party, Stephanie! I’m looking forward to everyone’s delish tidbits!


  1. Gabi says:

    Hey LisaRene- Thanks and I absolutely I loved your masa pizzas for the latest blog party this month!

  2. LisaRene says:

    How inventive, I love it! Perfect for the theme. Gosh, there was a lot of work in preparing these appetizers. I find that the smaller the food the more effort goes into it. These are kind of a classy “biscuits and gravy” my Oklahoma husband would love them!

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